Edwin Jackson an Oriole?Is it possible?According to the experts and insiders it isn’t likely to happen because he is now supposedly opting to take a one deal and test out the market next year. So,common sense would say that he is likely going to sign with a contender for one year and close to $10 million and wait for next year. The optimist in me says that those same experts and insiders were saying the same thing this time last year when the Orioles were interested in Vladamir Guerrero who signed a one year deal for $8 million with the Orioles.
Now,I would love to see the Orioles make a push and up their current 3 yr offer and try and lock Jackson up while the market is sparse. I know General Manager Dan Duquette doesn’t typically like to sign pitchers to 4 yr deals,but if you are trying to compete to be .500 or better this season you could do a lot worse than signing a 28 yr old power right handed pitcher who consistently logs 180-200 innings. His track record proves to be exactly what Duquette has said he wants from his starters,longer outings, durability and consistency. Eventually the Orioles are going to have spend some money on someone to come in and help this staff out. I do believe that the current moves Duquette has made to upgrade the starting staff will actually prove to invaluable this season. Add in the fact that Brian Matusz has apparently recommitted himself to improving his body and the growth of Zach Britton and a healthy bulldog in Jake Arrieta and the staff looks mighty good. I will be intrigued to see how Chen fairs in his first season in MLB and in the AL East.
In the end I believe the addition would make this team that more dangerous and feared,but I wonder if his addition to this staff would actually be a luxury. If the Orioles were to sign Jackson he and Guthrie would likely be the #1/#2 pushing Chen to #3 Arrieta to #4 and then Hunter to #5. That would leave the rotation for Norfolk to Consist of Matusz, Britton,Tillman,Eveland and maybe even Bergesen. That rotation at Triple A would definitely provide some security for the Major League roster in case of any injuries or trades. The signing of Jackson would definitely be the icing on the cake,but I think Duquette has done a tremendous job creating some competition and depth at both the ML and Triple A levels in a very short amount of time.
Prince Fielder is a Tiger! My first reaction to his monstrous 9 year $214 million deal that will pay him a cool $23.75 million a year until he is 37, was WOW! Now I have made it known that I would have loved to see Fielder in an Orioles uniform for the next several season,but only as a DH and surely not for 9 years and $200 million plus. The problem with a deal like this is that the Tigers will never be able to recoup this investment no matter how many championships they win. It also handicaps a team like the Tigers in the next four to five years when they have two players in Fielder and Cabrera making umpteen millions and both are too overweight and too much of a defensive liability to play the field. When this happens there will not be any takers for an overweight,high priced,old DH. Now I love the potential of a Cabrera,Fielder lineup and eventually a Cabrera, Fielder,Martinez lineup but again they have so much money invested into three players who are all primary DH’s.
After spending most of the night thinking about what really could have attracted Prince to Detroit over other teams that were in pursuit of him I decided maybe it was the fact that his father played there. It has always been known that the mystery team usually is the one that swoops in and wow’s the player to the point that they sign immediately,like was the case of the Angels landing Albert Pujols. I still think the best fit for Fielder long term would have been to sign with the Rangers,because they don’t have anyone currently on the roster to cause a log jam at DH down the road. At the end of the day,this move firmly places the bulls eye on the Tigers and makes them an early favorite to win the division if the rotation outside of Verlander can produce.
Early predictions for the American League Playoffs are:
AL East: Yankees
AL Central : Tigers
AL West: Angels
AL Wild Card: Rangers
In taking an early look at the roster now that the Orioles have agreed to terms with INF Wilson Betimit,there appears to be a significant ripple effect caused by the signing of Betimit. Here is how I foresee the make up of the team given the current options going to Spring Training.
SP. RP. Bubble
Guthrie. Johnson. Eveland
Chen. Wada. Patton
Arrieta. Gregg. Phillips
Hunter. Rapada. Strop
Matusz. Bergesen. Tillman
1. Roberts 2B. Teagarden – C
2. Hardy SS. Chavez – OF
3. Markakis RF. Miller – OF
4. Jones CF. Andino – UT
5. Wieters C
6. Reynolds 3B. Bubble
7. Davis 1B. Adams – 2B
8. Reimold LF. Antonelli – UT
9. Betimit DH. Flaherty –UT
Angle – OF
If the Orioles make any further additions to their roster things could get real interesting. As it stands it looks as though Miller and Betimit could get the bulk of their at bats at DH,since there is not a current DH on the roster. Chavez is pretty much guaranteed a spot as the fourth outfielder due to his experience,speed and ability to play all three OF spots. Unless Chavez flat out stumbles in spring training Matt Angle will be logging his time at Norfolk. Another area to keep an eye on is if Roberts starts the season on the disabled list then it opens the door for Adams,Antonelli and Flaherty to win a spot as a back up infielder. The only other situation that could end up creating some hard competition is if the Orioles sign Prince Fielder. The Orioles would have to choose between carrying a 12 th pitcher and only keeping one of Andino & Miller,or carry 11 pitchers and keep both.
The signing of Betimit now makes it virtually impossible for Flaherty,Antonelli and Adams to make this roster due to Buck Showalters admiration for Andino. Finally,a spring training filled with tons of competition all over the team. Heck,its possible Zach Britton doesn’t even make this years team due to the depth added and he won 12 games as a rookie.
By now you may have heard the comments made by the Orioles General Manager this past weekend at fan fest. During an open forum Dan Duquette was asked if the Orioles were officially out if the running for free agent first baseman Prince Fielder. Duquette said, “Are we going to get him? I don’t know. If we don’t, we’ll look for someone just like him.” Now this seems ever so eerily similar to the conversation Orioles fans had last year about Vladimir Guerrero with then Andy McPhail.
Now, I would love to see the Orioles land Fielder as I believe it would make them instant contenders in the AL East given their rotation additions. However, I would only like to see them sign him for 3-5 years maximum. I think with the need the Orioles have for a cleanup hitter, paying Fielder $60-$100 million for 3-5 years could pay huge dividends. It would have be greatly beneficial to Fielder to hit in a park that is friendly to left handed hitter. Pair that with the fact that if Fielder who is 27 signs for 3-5 years he will still be primed for a large contract afterwards while still in his prime at age 30-32.
I love the aggressive nature that Duquette has displayed thus far given his limited time back in the saddle. However, as much as I would love to see Fielder’s name penciled in the Orioles lineup for the next several years I am cautiously optimistic that it would actually happen. Given all of his options of teams to sign with the Orioles do offer the most attractive ball park suited for his style of hitting. Time will tell just how serious Duquette was that he wants a .500 team or better this season.
Since, about the end of last August I had stopped talking about Orioles Baseball because they were getting embarrassing. This was hard for me because I am such a die hard Orioles fan, but I just could stand to watch them anymore. Even when the Orioles signed new GM Dan Duqette I was overly thrilled because he came in promising the same things McPhail did, and we see how that panned out.
However, over the last two months I have been very pleased with his additions to both the front office and to the team. Firstly, the front office has always been an area I have felt needed addressed more so than just hiring a new General Manager. I have felt for a long time that the Orioles needed to make a bigger push with their player development and international scouting.
The other component Duqette has brought to the team I. His first off season is DEPTH. I don’t think I have ever seen such a push to sign so many quality starting pitchers. I love the addition of the Orioles most recent signing, Wei-Yin Chen a 26 year old lefty from Taiwan. He throws his fastball consistently 92-94 with a nasty slider and a forkball and add in the fact that he is a control pitcher. I predict that with Duqette’s current mindset and actions this team will be competitive in three years and have a productive farm system in five years.
I have a feeling that Chris Davis could be the opening day LF or DH next year with the Orioles making a strong push for Prince Fielder. I look for the Orioles to go for a big name free agent to play either first base or left field this off season. So depending on who they sign this off season will depend on where Davis plays next year. Its not out of the question for Davis to play LF , Bell 3B, Reynolds DH and if they sign Fielder to have him play 1B. Although, Reynolds recent play at 1B could allow him to play 1B next year and Fielder to DH if they sign him. Point is that they need more from LF and 1B.
Dylan Bundy signed a Major League contract just minutes before the midnight deadline last night.
The Orioles director of amateur scouting Joe Jordan came through in the clutch last night by signing the Orioles top pick Dylan Bundy to go along with 6th round pick Nick Delmonico and 2nd round pick Jason Esposito. I have to admit that I stayed up past midnight waiting to hear that we had signed Bundy. The last news I heard was around 11 pm when the Orioles had signed Delmonico until just after 12 am when it was announced that Bundy signed. Today’s modern technology placed me on my couch constantly reloading my twitter account and my web pages trying to find some kind of insight to the progress on all the negotiations.
I am still a little confused as to whether Bundy can start playing for a minor league affiliate this year since his Major League contract starts in 2012. I have a feeling that if he were to play this year the Orioles would end up using one of his options and he only has 3-4 until he has to be on the MLB roster or be exposed to waviers. My feeling is that Bundy goes to Florida and works out there until spring training next year and I fully expect Delmonico and Esposito to join either the Delmarva Shorebirds or the Aberdeen Ironbirds for the remainder of the season.